Tinubu, The Opposition and The Nigerian Honey Pot.

By Kayode Soremekun

As the Tinubu administration approaches  the one year mark, it is important to  effect a review  of what has transpired  in the last twelve months.

At the level of sheer policy postures and pronouncements, much has been done and so much is also  being done, such that it is almost impossible to keep  pace .

In this narrative however, I have decided  to dwell on an unusual aspect of the last twelve months.

On this note, the thrust of my argument is this: Nigeria is a lucrative honeypot for external  actors and their local collaborators. It is a situation in which every achievement of  this administration translates into a loss for  external actors and their interests. These indeed are the various indices of the opposition which will continue to stalk this administration.

At the instinctual level, and unfortunately, the average reader is likely to view the opposition in terms of predictable variables like the: PDP, LP and possibly the various indices of civil society.

But this piece is not preoccupied with these.

Rather our attention  is focused on  the implications of the evolving dynamics  of Air Peace (AP) and the competition in the aviation industry.

It is instructive to recall here that, as soon as  AP ticked off  on the Lagos-Londonn route, the other  airlines came into some form of self-serving  epiphany. They changed tack through the  process  of fare reductions.

The implications of this on-going process are deeper than one may think. As long as Nigeria  was absent on the Lagos-London route the  route was something of a honey pot for the other airlines. It  was a sybarritic  situation in which all the other  airlines were busy enjoying themselves at the expense of Nigerians and Nigeria.

In my innocence I  thought  that the  only airline that  was benefitting from this bazaar of the Lagos- London  route was British Airways (BA) whose ancestors were  the original predators of what  passes for the Nigerian state. Little did I know that other Airlines like Airmaroc and Egyptair were also partakers of this largesse.

On this note, the mind remembers the goggled General, Sanni Abacha. In the light  of the inclement  interplay between his regime and Britain, British Airways was banned from Nigeria. But as  soon as  he died, BA resumed its lucrative foray into Nigeria. One can imagine how much BA must have lost in the light of that move by the General.

The  implication is that  for every omission or commision on the part of Nigeria, someone out there is smiling home with huge profits. Such forces and individuals constitute at one level the opposition that anyone who  occupies

Aso Rock, has to contend with.  Needless to say, our Nigeria is  a huge honeypot since we are  talking here of a huge  market  of 200 million Nigerians

The situation also partly explains why the naira will continue to go south since for most of, even our basic needs we depend heavily on the external realm. It also explains why anybody who occupies Aso Rock is not just up against the  usual opposition  at the domestic level, he is  also up against  the various indices of  opposition beyond Nigeria.

And here we are talking about hard-headed interests and zero-sum games in which what one entity loses, is gained by another  one.

This  brings to mind another major area in which over time, Nigeria continues to be a spectator in the scheme  of things.

Our specific reference here is the Nigerian oil industry. Nigeria continues to be passive in this industry. So passive that as an oil producing country there are  no backward linkages like refineries and petrochemicals. Even as I write, there are rumblings to the effect that, there are jitters out there. This is because, should Nigeria succceed in bringing on stream her own  refineries, very many jobs will be lost by refiners  in places like Rotterdam and South Korea. These are some of the entities who import refined oil to an oil producing  Nigeria. Again as regards petrochemicsks, should Nigeria come into her own in this vital  area, then out imports of raw  will redice drastically. In the light of what is  happening to Air Peace, we should expect a fight-back from relevant interests out there.

Very much the same thing can be said for our steel industry. Till date, it remains comatose. No thanks to international conspiracy ably aided by a wayward ruling class. This is invariably a  sad feature which stretches far back  to the dawn of our polirical independence.

Again, Nigeria’s attempts to come into her own in this vital  area will be resisted and vigorously too by  the relevant and extertnal forces out there in collaboration with their internal allies. So as PBAT  Tinubu settles into his second year in office, he will do well to remember and appreciate that he will be contending with various indices of the opposition at the external level. In various ways these have their tongues and fingers in the Nigerian honey-pot. They will not give up easily. Which is why, the  Tinubu presidency should give these self-serving and external forces a good run for their greed and avarice.

There is some hope however. This cautious optimism lies in the fact that, in  the course of  that historic outing in Abeokuta where Tinubu openly staked his claim to the Presidency he also pronunced with equal  gravity  on his place  in history. Specifically he opined that he would not want to be a footnote to the Nigerian narrative. So all said and done, it   is possible to contend  here that in the light of what can be regarded  as his self-conscious place in history; PBAT has his work cut out for him in critical and vital  areas of our national life like: the steel industry, our oil industry and of  course the Aviation  sector.

Success  in these various  areas can only mean that the Great Black Hope is ready to come into her own.

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